tv Today NBC September 6, 2011 7:00am-9:00am EDT
good morning. under siege, dozens. >> reporter: of wildfires burning out of control in texas. two people are dead. hundreds of homes are destroyed and thousands forced to evacuate. and the weather for the next few days could only make things worse. this morning we'll talk to texas governor rick perry, live. all-time low, new nbc news "wall street journal" poll shows approval rating for both president obama and congress on sinking even further with a huge majority believing this country is on the wrong track. what will it take to turn things around. and the place is miserable. that's what the prime suspect for the disappearance of an american woman in aruba is
saying about his conditions in jail there. we'll have an exclusive interview with his father today, we'll have an exclusive interview with his father today, tuesday, september 6th, 2011. captions paid for by nbc-universal television and welcome to "today" on this tuesday morning, i'm ann curry. >> and i'm matt lauer. you hear a lot of adjectives being used to describe the situation with the wildfires in texas. one you're hearing over and over again is catastrophic. >> it's unbelievable. 60 new fires have popped up across the state in the last through days. and one of them is already considered the worst in texas history, destroying at least 476 homes. the flames are being fueled by strong winds, dry conditions created by the state's worst drought in more than 50 years. we're going to get the late nest a live report ahead. >> we're going to talk to governor perry later in the
show. ayman do knox appeared upbeat in court at her appeals court. coming up, a close friend will tell us how knox is holding up as that case winds down. also this morning the "real housewives of beverly hills" premiered last night with the members of the cast. the suicide of taylor armstrong's estranged husband. >> we're going to tell you what people are saying as we're joined live by three of the women featured on that show. >> that's right. but we begin with the devastating wildfires in texas. nbc's jay gray is there with the latest on this story. hey, jay, good morning. >> good morning to you, ann. as hard as it is to believe, the situation actually took a turn for the worse here overnight. the wildfire in bastrop alone is 40 square miles and is growing much faster than the crews or this community can handle. shadows from the fading sun can't hide the overwhelming evidence that texas is under attack. >> this entire state, especially
central texas, is under a siege right now. >> reporter: ribbon of flames runs through t state, dozens of wildfires wrapping around the melting away everything in their path. the worst of the fire seems to be in bastrop. it's been two full days and still firefighters are no closer in gaining the upper hand in the blaze. >> the bastrop fire is not under control. >> reporter: 450 homes have been reduced to ash. >> that house is gone. his house is gone. david and heather's is about half gone. >> reporter: 5,000 families have been forced to leave, many watching as smoke continues to fill the sky and wondering what might be left when the air clears. >> i have no insurance or nothing. that's everything i've worked for. it's the chaos of getting through getting assistance and the wait. what do we do in the meantime? >> reporter: monica turner's place to go is gone.
>> we just lost our house. we just found out that our house has been destroyed. right now i'm sitting and pr praying to god because i don't know right now. >> reporter: there are so many lingering questions from those pushed from their homes. >> we have no idea what's happened to our kids. we're going to go try now and see if they will let us go and check. if the house didn't burn, we can save the pets. >> right, right. >> and we just don't know. and not knowing is awful. >> reporter: in east texas, though, knowing is even worse. a young woman and her 18-month-old daughter died when they could not escape the wall of fire that swallowed their home. as a wave of fire continues to wash across the state, crews and survivors are being pushed past their limits. >> oh, my god. total devastation. >> reporter: concerned for thousands in texas, growing almost as fast as the flames. and as they battle the flames here in bastrop, even more
wildfires up overnight, spreading the crews thin. in fact, the texas forestry service issued a public appeal at this point calling for any and all firefighters available to respond immediately and telling them they will be on the job here for quite some time. ann? >> jay gray, thank you for your report. we want to get more on the situation in texas and also we want to talk about the remnants of tropical depression lee, dumping rain on the east coast. for both those things, let's go upstairs. al roker is joining us now. good morning to you. >> good morning to matt and arne. stirring in texas, it's not horrible news but not great news. the wind is dying down just a little bit. it's going to be sunny, hot, 89. same thing for tomorrow. but we are not seeing any moisture in this system, anything to help the firefighters there. we could take some of this moisture from lee. we could really use it in the northeast. as you can see, right now we've got tornado watches in effect from south carolina all of the way into southern virginia. the remnants of lee streaming up
along this frontal system and trough as you look and the rainfall amounts we've got flash flood watches, flood warnings and flood watches stretching from knoxville out aft way up to carabao, maine. rainfall amounts, we're talking anywhere from two to six inches. from raleigh to charlottesville, we could be looking at eight inches of rain between today and thursday. as we novembmove up the coast, to nine inches to maybe ten inches in central pennsylvania, up in new york. where they don't need it in vermont, they're going to pick up another two to three inches of rain as well. hurricane katia, right now it's still a major hurricane. category 3 storm. the good news is, that trough is picking it up, the one that's kind of across the country. that's going to bring it away from the u.s. but we will still see really strong rip currents and dangerous swells from miami all of the way up to portland. ann? >> all right, thanks for bringing us up to date on. we'll get the rest of your
forecast in a few moments. first now, let's turn to politics. the fires in texas led governor rick perry to cancel an appearance at monday's republican presidential forum in south carolina. but the candidates who were there had some tough words for president. . nbc's kelly o'donnell is in columbia this morning. good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, ann. you're right. the republican presidential candidates hit the president hard over jobs. they talked about their own conservative values and social issues. all that without the first of this campaign showdown between rick perry and mitt romney that so many here expected. abruptly off the campaign trail, a detour back to texas for governor rick perry to confront those wildfires. >> i'm not the paying any attention to politics right now. there's plenty of time to take care of that. people's lives and their possessions are in danger. that's substantially more important. [ applause ] >> reporter: perry's absence left a south carolina conservative forum with just
five republican candidates. instead of journalists, south carolina's senator jim demint led the questioning. >> what would you change about our foreign policy? >> a lot. first, i would have one. >> reporter: today romney is jumping ahead of president obama's thursday's job plan by unveiling his own. previewed in a "usa today" op-ed. i will introduce a plan consisting of 59 specific proposals, with lower taxes and less regulations. >> that's what we've lost in washington, too many people think that business is bad. >> reporter: congresswoman michele bachmann gave a subtle dig to romney on his massachusetts health care program, but hit the president more directly. >> current united states government and its framework is acting outside of the bounds of constitution. probably the most obvious i would say, jim, would be this, obama care. >> reporter: not in the race but in the fight, sarah palin continued her tea party tour in new hampshire. >> see, candidate obama didn't
have a record while in office, but president obama certainly does and that's why we're here today. >> reporter: controversy kicked off the president's jobs event in detroit monday when teamster's president jimmy hoffa jr. tried to rally democrats with a raw swipe at the tea party. >> everybody here has got to vote. if we go back, keep the eye on the prize, let's take these son of a bitches out and give mr america back to america where they belong. >> reporter: president obama was tough but taper in calling out republicans. >> we're not going to wait for them. we're going to see if we've got some straight shooters in congress. we're going to see if congressional republicans will put country before party. >> reporter: and the president said he didn't want to give too much away in that speech in detroit, leading up to his big address on thursday night where he'll unveil his jobs speech. he'll do that before congress. mitt romney today will have sort of a different background to unveil his jobs plan. he will be doing that in las
vegas at a trucking dealership. matt? >> kelly o'donnell. kelly, thank you very much. coming to us from south carolina. chuck todd is nbc's political director. he's here with the latest poll. people sending their kids back to school, report cards a couple months away. but the report card is here for the president and members of congress. the oapproval rating is not goo. >> that's right, matt. record low. 44% approve of the job that the president is doing. record high disapproval number at 51%. there is some silver lining here for the president. over 70% still find him likable. but the problem is among most of his policies, only 38% approve of those, matt. >> and obviously the economy is issue number one right here. jobs, the slow economy, that debt ceiling debate we all just lived through. 37% of the people approve of the
president's handling of the economy. 59% do not. >> look, another record low when it comes to his approval rating on the economy. but it's a pretty pessimistic public that we polled. 49% think we're headed into another recession. 72% believe we still haven't hit bottom regardless if it's going to be a recession or not, matt. >> you talk about pessimistic. when we ask people, this is a question we often ask. is the country headed in right or the wrong direction. look at the number of people who say the wrong direction. 7 3%. >> well, i tell you this, as a theme to this poll, another record low in the obama presidency. pollsters will tell you, our pollsters will tell you this, matt, right track, wrong track tells you more about what's going to happen in the next election than any other mum ber i number in a poll. there's a couple of parties in parts of washington's power. >> that's right. anybody in congress who may be looking at this saying, wow, the white house has a real problem, they better stop and look at their own house, as well.
how about this number? 82% of the people in our poll disapproved of the job congress in general is doing. >> matt, another record. if congress really wants to grab this one. first time we have ever recorded a disapproval rate for congress over 80%. when you think about over the last 30 years, all of the different ways that congress has made the american public angry, nothing has made it -- given them worse numbers than that debt ceiling debate. 82%. bipartisan agreement, over 80% of republicans, democrats, independents. >> let's talk about the gop field for the 2012 race. got some names at the top here. we've got rick perry who will be speaking to a little later in the program, heading the field. >> it is. it is the rick perry -- you would say is the front-runner right now. 38%. romney sitting at 23%. 38% for rick perry is important for a couple notes. number one, highest we've recorded any republican in the
republican primary field to date so far. he's showing consolidation. 45% among those republican call themselves tea party supporters but he also leads romney narrowly among non-tea party supporters. the big loser in our poll you will see is michele bachmann. she went from a high of 16% in the republican party match-up last month. her support cut in half. it all went to rick perry. >> real quickly in the 30 seconds i will left. the president is speaking to a joint session of congress, obviously to the american people as well, all about creating jobs. how is the white house handling expectations on that speech? >> well, it suddenly trying to back it down a little bit. the venue itself raises the expectations, but i can tell you this, they're facing a public that is not just skeptical, it's a public on president obama that seems to be almost giving up on him. 54% told us in this poll they believe he's facing a long-term setback. when that number went over 50% for president bush, his
presidency was essentially over. that happened just after katrina. >> chuck todd in washington this morning with the results. the new nbc news/wall street journal poll. thank you. as we said, we're going to talk to governor rick per roif texas a little later this morning. but for now let's get a check of the rest of the morning's top stories. savannah guthrie is in fortunately. >> good morning. in the news this morning, several wildfires are blazing in southern california this morning. more than 8600 ache have been scorched. in los angeles county the sfir has spread to 500 acres. rain will keep the postal service from making deliveries but its skyrocketing debt just might. the postmaster general has asked congress today to plea for federal assistance. without that help the postal service said it could default and face shutdown early next year. new video has surfaced of united flight 93's crash site in rural pennsylvania.
nearly a decade after 9/11. a nearby resident shot the video after he felt an explosion that shook his house. after he died earlier this year his wife decided to release that clip. overseas a hostage situation had australians on edge this morning. nbc's sara james has the latest from sydney. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, savannah. that hostage ordeal which lasted nearly 12 hours has ended peacefully. a 52-year-old man har arrested and his young daughter is described as very distressed but safe and has been reunite with family members. now, the ordeal began this morning local time when the man went into a legal office and his behavior was described as very erratic. he seemed to, in the words of eyewitnesses, simply snap. he then barricaded himself into a room. he had his daughter with him. he claimed to have a bomb. he then paraded about in front of the window wearing a legal wig, smashing the window,
dropping notes down to the negotiators below. the negotiators were there on the scene though talking to the man and they also evacuated the building. now, all of this is happening, of course, just one month after sydney teenager madeleine pulver, a young student, was strapped to a fake bomb collar in her own home while she was studying. that had this city very much on edge. there is a sense of relief that this situation has been resolved peacefully. again, the suspect is in custody. and again, the young woman in this case is all right. there is no knowledge yet, savannah, of why he did it. >> nbc's sar va james in sydney this morning. thank you. now to wall street, cnbc's mandy drury is at the new york stock exchange. >> good morning. the u.s. stock market has a lot to contend with today and this week. you've got the sovereign concerns over europe and you also have concerns of growth here in stalling. indeed for the markets the focus on president obama, what he could announce to create jobs
will also be something that will be very directional for the markets. and if you own gold, well, it's getting more expensive as is perceived as a lower risk place to park your money. oil prices, on the other hand, are moving lower as, of course, lower growth here and abroad could mean lower demand for nench. the u.s. dollar, on the other hand, is getting stronger. back over to you. >> thank you. and from austria, amazing video of former laboratory chimpanzees seeing the light of day and going outside for the very first time. they had been used for medical experiments until the american pharmaceutical company baxter bought that lab and ended all testing on chimps. they will now live out their retirement together with plenty of sunlight in an animal sanctuary. 7:17. back to matt, ann, and al. >> it's kind of bittersweet to see them. it's great to have them out but they look like they've -- well -- they've been through something. >> anyway. i'
>> and that's your latest weather. ann? >> al, thanks. new developments in the appeals trial of amanda knox after the court heard from the police official who conducted the original murder investigation on monday. nbc's lester holt is in italy with the latest on this story. good morning. >> arne, good morning. trial watchers seem to agree the case against amanda knox has taken some serious body blows from scientific experts who simply shredded their scientific evidence. right now this morning the prosecution is fighting back. we saw much more upbeat amanda knox entering the courtroom this morning who offered a smile to her father curt with the august summer break behind her, the end of the appeal trial is in sight and it's clearer than ever to both sides that the outcome will hinge on the dna evidence that
helped send her and her ex-boyfriend to prison for the murder of knox's roommate, key evidence that now has been thoroughly discredited by court-appointed experts. are you all feeling stronger and better based on what you heard in court? >> i think we're feeling more hopeful. >> reporter: on monday one of the independent experts held firm on the conviction that the dna evidence used in the original trial was of such a minute amount that it could have come from virtually anyone in the courtroom. carla gave little ground on her intense prosecution questioning. how is it going? >> you tell me because you're seeing what happens from the outside. i believe i did my job in the way it should be done. >> reporter: as the weeks started off, the sister of victim meredith kircher sent a letter to the family lawyer saying, it is extremely difficult to understand how the results, which were obtained with great care and presented in the first trial as valid, could now be regarded as irrelevant.
kercher's father told nbc news the family has full confidence in the original scientific findings and says it is the independent analysis that is suspect. that analysis cited dozens of the prosecution is not conceding any mistakes. and for a seconds day has put the police expert on the stand who originally analyzed the dna. she is vigorously defending her work and says the international standards in evidence collection protocols have changed since the case began. with the verdict expected by the end of the month, a former university of washington classmate of knox's who now lives in perugia told me the stress is clearly affecting knox. >> she's definitely feeling sick, sicker lately, and a lot more stress. and then the heat in prison is making all the prisoners feel really sick. so i think it's a combination of the case and then the actual physical conditions. >> reporter: when we talk about sloppy evidence, one of the
things that's being talked about is the scientific expert for the police admits at one point some of the biological evidence collected at the scene that should have been stored at a specific temperature was put in the freezer at the victim's home instead of being taken to the lab. ann? >> lester holt, so much to talk about here. thank you so much this morning. coming up next, the prime suspect in the disappearance of robyn gardner in abrew ruba ope behind bars for the first time. but first, this is "today" on nbc.
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>> live, local, latebreaking. this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am stan stovall. here is sarah caldwell and traffic pulse 11. problems this morning. >> serious a dose of reality. heavy delays and accidents. rain coming down is not helping at all. nine miles per hour on the west side outer loop approaching reisterstown road all the way down the west side. vehicle fire at liberty road and old court road. accident we had security is gone. damage is done. 22 miles per hour on the outer
loop north east side. reisterstown road and franklin boulevard, watch for defective traffic lights. york road and towsontown boulevard, an accident. accident in anne arundel county. 24 minutes on the outer loop west side, 13 on the outer loop northeast corner, a 11-minute ride on southbound 95 from the belt late southwest to 32. here is a live view of traffic. that is the pace of things. we will switch over to live view of traffic in 95 out of the northeast. we looking at delays just starting to develop at white marsh. let's get the latest on the forecast with tony. >> obviously, we of rain to contend with today. heaviest rain is south and west of us now. standardbred sprinkles brought baltimore city. these heavier bands of showers will be moving into the baltimore area with the next half-hour or 45 minutes.
take the umbrella with you and give yourself as much extra time as you can. that's like the forecast for today. rainshowers off and on. steadiest in this morning or afternoon. high temperatures away below average this time of year. average high temperature in the low 80s. all this activity is going to do one big thing. tried out for -- tried out for keeping katia off shore. the ground is already saturated. this could cause minor flooding problems at least as we head through thursday and friday. after today, temperatures should warm up a little bit. we will make it to the upper 70's the next couple of days. assuming the hurricane stays offshore, we should wind up with decent weather over the weekend with sunshine and high temperatures at the low 80s on saturday and sunday.
get america's favorite coffee for america's favorite single-serve brewer. try all five delicious varieties, only at dunkin' donuts stores. america runs on dunkin'. 7:30 now on a tuesday morning. it's the 6th day of september, 2011. that's some kind of nasty weather lacooking you side our windows here. the rain should linger for a couple of days here in midtown manhattan. nice crowd gathered outside our windows as well. inside studio 1-a, i'm matt lauer alongside ann curry. just ahead, a viaolent confrontation at mcdonald's. >> a woman was attacked by an off duty manager by bringing her autistic son's service dog in
the door. talk about the remarkable recovery of a mother who suffered a tragic accident while on vacation in hawaii. she broke her spine and slipped into a coma. some doctors even suggested that it might be able to to take her off life support. her family never gave up hope. now that woman is able to walk and talk three months later. she is joining us in this studio. >> a picture of resilience this morning. and coming up, three of the members of the "real housewives of beverly hills" is here to talk about how people are reacting to last night's premier and how the show handled the suicide of russell armstrong who is the husband of one of the women on the show. but we're going to begin at this moment with the prime suspect in the disappearance of a maryland woman in aruba. speaking out for the first time, nbc's jeff rossen has more on this. jeff, good morning. >> reporter: hey, ann, gary giordano is allowed to make
calls from prison. he's not allowed to make calls but he can make them. he picked up the phone and called his father in florida over the weekend and giordano apparently went into great detail about how he's being treated behind bars. apparently telling his father, quoting, the reasons are absolutely miserable. complaining about the heat in the cell, saying it's over 100 degrees. he says they made him sleep on the floor. and he also talks about sleep dp deprivation before interrogations trying to bricea him down. he also talked about the case against him. >> you believe he's innocent. >> i believe he's innocent. >> we met with frank giordano at his home in florida, 80 years old, battling cancer. he just talked to gary from prison. quick to show us these photos, gary the son, always there, gary the enduring father of three who misses his kids. but in aruba, gary giordano is an inmate, the prime suspect in the disappearance of robyn
gardn gardner. when gary called you from prison, what did he say? >> i asked him how things were going. he said he was in pretty good shape. and i asked him if they were treating him well. and he said, the place is miserable. >> how so? >> the first couple of days he slept on the floor. he had no mattress. >> on the concrete? >> on the concrete floor, yeah. and he said the temperature there at nighttime in the cell was over 100 degrees. so he wasn't getting very much sleep. and then in addition to that, they had parked a police car right outside his cells in the grounds and they blew the horn like every hour and that kept him awake. so he was pretty much exhausted whenever they interrogated him. so, you know, it appeared to me as though they were trying to wear him down. >> sleep deprivation. >> yeah, yeah. their version of waterboarding, i guess. >> did gary say, dad, help me? did he ask you for anything? >> yeah, the thing he asked for
was for me to tell the world, so to speak, that he had been treated badly and that conditions there were miserable, not only for him but for everybody else. >> reporter: giordano has been locked up for over a month and just last week an aruban judge ruled he could be held for another 60 days without being charged. how did he sound? did he sound scared, remorseful? >> no, he sounded irritated. you know, under those conditions i would be irritated, too. not remorseful, no, not at all. he felt he was being held without good cause. >> reporter: when police arrest edgar dan giordano he reported cuts on his neck. frank says he asked his son point blank, what about that? >> he said he never had a scratch on his neck. there's no indication of one.
it just didn't exist. it's a story. >> did you ask him, what happened? what's the real story? >> no, i would have asked him that but we got cut off. >> the phone just died? >> yeah, click, and it was all over. >> reporter: gary hasn't called back, but his story hasn't changed. that he and robyn were snorkeling, she disappeared and he did nothing wrong. >> you believe him? >> i believe him. >> why? >> why not? i've loved him since the moment he was born. i'll continue to love him. i can't imagine that he would do anything like this. i have no idea what happened to her, and i'm sorry if anything bad happened. but i have no indication that he was a part of that happening. >> frank now spends most of his time just sitting at home waiting by the phone, hoping gary calls back. by the way, we asked aruban authorities about these accusations from gary giordano.
aruban authorities first of all say, yes, the cells are hot. there's no air conditioning. nothing they can do about that, nor do they want to. they say gary giordano does have a mattress now. he's not being forced to sleep on the concrete. in fact, he's now not even in isolation anymore. he's sharing a cell with three other inmates. they say also they do not engage in sleep deprivation tack takes. they deny those accusations. gary giordano's lawyer will file an appeal this week to that 60-day extension but many experts hearsay it's unlikely they'll let him go. >> thank you so much. savannah guthrie is with us once again as a role in "today's" legal correspondent and star jones is a former prosecutor and legal commentator. he gives the glimpse of a ripple effects of a case like this. this raises the question of just how much recourse an american citizen has in a foreign country. and could -- savannah, let me start with you. could actually jail conditions be grounds for his appeal?
>> well, it may come up during the appeal. they may try to bring it up before one of the judges there. the bottom line is if you an american detained abroad you are not entitled to any treatment than the average aruban would get in jail. however, the state department does monitor this and make sure that americans aren't being unfairly prejudice, just being treated worse because of the fact they're americans. you know, gary giordano as an american citizen is entitled to contact with the consulate office. i'm told consulate officers have visited him in jail a few times. as for the father's allegations it's something approaching torture. the sleep deprivation almost like waterboarding, that's a very serious charge. if u.s. officials thought there was something akin to torture going on they would take it on to the the highest levels. >> i'm a former brooklyn prosecutor. would you like to go to the brooklyn house of detention or see some of the people that are pending in rikers island right now? jail is jail for a reason.
it's not vacation. >> right. but they haven't even charged him, star. how long can they hold him without charging him? >> well, this period of 60 days we're in, and then the prosecutors can make another application to hold him for another 30 days. they can say they have new information, the investigation is on going. this is one of the key differences between their system and our system. in our system, we have bail. you have to have a higher threshold to continue to detail someone with no charges. >> and an indictment has to come within a certain amount of time. that's something for american citizens when you're traveling abroad. make yours aware of the laws outside of your country and don't think you're entitled to the same rights and privileges, search and sea sooizure laws ar the same, beyond a reasonable doubt may not be the same. you're going to be subject to their laws. >> let's talk about the case itself. there's been a new development there where prosecutors have released a new surveillance video where they basically show a white car that's driving on the same road about the same time when gary and robyn were
allegedly snorkeling. what could the people who were driving this car potentially offer this case that would have the authorities now send out this basically apb for them to bring them to come forward? >> if, in fact, they were in and around the area, they might be eyewitnesses to the last time they saw the victim, if you will, and the defendant together. that's really very important. what they saw when they saw it, the lighting conditions, and whether or not you can get them back even into aruba if they are tourists. >> a little bit like the long shot. if the people saw something very suspicious with all the publicity perhaps they would have already come forward. >> sounds like they're struggling to build their case. bottom line. >> it's going to be circumstantial no matter what. >> you maeheard it here. thank you so much. and now let's get a check of the weather from al. >> ann, thank you so much. and we've got the fun sisters here. where are you guying from? >> minnesota and texas. >> minnesota and texas.
unfortunately we have more wildfires to talk about in texas. not just outside of austin but this is san antonio. more brush fires cropping up and causing big problems. over 60 fires burning this morning in texas. we're going to be talking live with texas governor rick perry very shortly. you want to stay tuned for that. let's check your weather and see what's happening. afternoon temperatures, we've got cool weather here in the northeast. 50s and 60s. 70s as you get into the plains. 70s in the pacific northwest along the coast, warmer. 90 toss 100s. texas on into the southwest. as you look at the sky conditions. beautiful weather in the northern plains. wet weather up and down the eastern seaboard. tornado watch in the mid atlantic states. sunny skies in the southwest where we don't need that sunshine, especially in texas. >> we are going to do with the rainshowers off and on. it could get heavy later on this afternoon. it is going to be cool.
it is going to be cool. high temperatures in >> don't forget you can check the weather channel any time you need updated weather. go to weather channel on cable or weather.com online. coming up next, a mcdonald's manager allegedly attacks a mother for bringing her autistic son's service dog into the restcarant. rds credit card, we earn more cash back for the things we buy most. it's 1% cash back everywhere, every time. 2% on groceries. 3% on gas. automatically. no hoops to jump through. that's 1% cash back on oscar. ...tony. oscar! 2% back on whatever she'll eat. 3% back on filling up this baby.
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we're back now at 7:44 with an ugly incident caught on tape at a mcdonald's in georgia. a mother says she was assaulted after an argument erupted after her autistic son's service dog. nbc's than truong has this story. >> reporter: she has 8-year-old boys, the family rarely goes anywhere without their service dog. when they brought that dog to mcdonald's it sparked a confront trace a ended while le eded vio. going to mcdonald's for most families is no big deal, but for her sons, asking for a happy meal is a breakthrough. ben said -- and ben doesn't talk very much at all, he can't. he said, i want mcdonald's, please. >> reporter: so on a hot july day she took her boyce and service dog barkley to mcdonald's in marietta, georgia,
here they are on the restaurant surveillance video. keep an eye on the woman with a cap holding a little girl. >> i just went there to have happy meals and play. >> reporter: after almost an hour, the family was about to go, but then the woman with the ball cap confronted her about the service dog. >> what's going on there? >> that's where she rather loudly asked if ben was blind and told me that if he wasn't blind, i couldn't bring a dog in there just because i wanted to. >> reporter: the woman is tiffany allen, a manager who at the time was off duty. she argued that her service dog is allowed by federal law. tempers are flaring and the situation starts escalating. >> the last thing that we were going to do is go to the rest room and leave. >> and she followed you in the rest room? >> yes. >> reporter: outside of the bathroom the women continue to go at it. at this point she loses sight of her son sam. in a panic she says she searches for him outside, dropping her
drink when she can't track him down. the soda splashes on tiffany allen who suddenly leaves this little girl behind, bolting towards her. out of the view of the cameras, she said allen violently lashed out. >> she swung her left arm around really hard and hit me in the ear jaw area. >> reporter: after that she goes back in eventually finding sam playing with a broom. as they leave other employees had to refrain allen. she was later fired, charged with simple battery, and simple assault. >> do you deserve an apology? >> i think everyone that has a service dog just deserves to be allowed to live their life. >> reporter: and although life with special needs children can be chaotic, service dogs offer calm companionship and now make the public aware. >> i'm going to continue to try my best to fit in a society just like everyone else does. hopefully people will be able to learn from this.
>> reporter: and we reached out to tiffany allen, but she never returned our calls. she will be in court next month, but so far she hasn't pled to the charges. mcdonnall's did issue a statement saying in part, that mcdonald's welcomes all customers, including those with special disabilities or special needs who may require the assistance of service animals. they say for now they're boycotting mcdonald's, matt? >> thanh truong, thank you. still ahead, the "real ho e housewives of beverly hills" in the wake of a suicide of a fellow cast member's estranged husband. we'll talk about that, but first, these messages. but also a caring touch. you learn to get a feel for the trouble spots. to know its wants... its needs...its dreams. ♪call 1-800-steemer.
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slums of bmumbai. but where are they now? >> they were only around 8 years old when chosen from among hundreds of kids. if you ever wondered how are they doing today? they are young teenagers, still have big dreams but lives are very different and she still lives in the slum. real life slum children with t e mill dollar smiles. they helped take "slum dog millionaire" all the way to the oscars. today azar is 13. all of is a sudden your life completely changed. >> yes. i -- i'm telling you, i think this is my dream one has become true. >> reporter: it's not luxury, hardly a mansion, but azar now has his own apartment with his family in a very nice quiet mumbai suburb. hard for him to believe just two years ago azar was living in
that slum. you realized making the movie that he wanted to make something of himself. so you like big dreams. >> yes, very big dreams. >> reporter: azar now wants to be an about actor or scientist. and on a visit back to the slum where kids his age still play in the drainage pipes or fish in puddles, azar is uncomfortable. though he's kept his old friends here. >> i don't like to go there, i feel sad. >> reporter: he also worries about rubena, his costar whose family at one point was accuse of trying to sell her and the foundation say her parents kept rejecting new homes offered to them, she is still living in the slum. her home here has been destroyed twice, which claimed her mementos from the movie. but rubena who wants to be a movie star one day, says this. >> translator: i'm very happy. i find nothing difficult because
my family is with me. my life is great. i do not need anything. >> reporter: and azar just a few miles but a world away is determined now to build success for himself and his friends, including rubena whom he calls his sister. >> i will help them. i will promise i will help them. >> what the director has done for them is set up a trust that will be theirs when they turn 18. but if they stay in school. ann? >> michelle, thank you so much. rick perry after this. ♪ [ country ]
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setting that goal to become a principal. but, i have to support my family, so how do i go back to school? university of phoenix made it doable. i wouldn't be where i am without that degree. my name is dr. carrie buck. i helped turn an at risk school into an award winning school, and i am a phoenix. [ male announcer ] university of phoenix is proud to sponsor education nation. because we believe an educated world is a better world. i was worried about them, you know? i mean, for instance, my mom went to bed tonight before making my dinner, which is fine. i mean, i know how to make dinner. it just starts to make you wonder. is this what happens when you age? my friends used to say i was the lucky one. i had the fun parents. where's the fun now? night, guys. [ male announcer ] venza from toyota. ♪
>> live, local, latebreaking. this wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am stan stovall. we are going to get a check first at two school closures locker men and winford elementary schools. i have no power. -- they after a power grid that's get a check on the morning commute with sarah caldwell. >> southbound 95 to 195 towards 100, we have a jam packed ride.
the reason for the southbound delay approaching 175, we have accident taking up three left lanes. northbound 95 and caton avenue, accident taking a two right lanes. vehicle fire at liberty road and old court road. 8 miles per hour approaching reisterstown road towards edmondson. inner loop delays towards liberty. southbound andy fight back up approaching the beltway. -- southbound 95 backed up approaching the white. route 3, blocked at rita road. heavy delays in anne arundel county. 95, south of 100, no, the shot is not frozen. those are delays, nobody is moving. southbound caton avenue, and looks a lot better. tony has a check on the forecast. >> the rain is not helping to start the day. give yourself as much extra time
tuesday morning, september 6th, 2011. it's day after labor day. but take a look. these people managed to sneak in one more day after their long holiday weekend. lucky them. meantime, inside studio 1-a, i'm ann curry alongside matt lauer and al roker. >> incredible story. after a terrible accident, shelly eldridge, wife and mom of two, slipped into a coma. the prognosis was not good at all. her family was actually asked this they wanted to keep her on life support, they said yes. that was three months ago.
now not only is shelly out of a coma, she's able to walk some and talk. she's going to share her story. did the "real housewives of beverly hills" handle the suicide of the cast member's estranged husband handle it the right way? a lot to get to. let's begin this half hour though with the latest on the dozens of wildfiring raes ragin throughout texas. dozens have been evacuated. rick perry have left the presidential campaign trail to deal with the disaster. governor perry, nice to see you. >> good morning, matt. how are you, sir? >> i'm fine. i know you were talking a couple of days ago saying you had seen video, pictures, eyeness accounts of these fires. it wasn't until you got out there and saw them for yourself until you really had the full impact. describe what you've seen. >> yeah, matt, these are massive fires from the standpoint of --
you know, the heat yesterday, we've had a weather break as of last night. you saw a really big fires, black smoke billowing up when a house or an automobile or propane tank would go up. it's into those types of residential neighborhoods now in bastrop, texas. unfortunately steiner ranch is where i'm standing right now, they weren't as hard hit, but for those families who have lost everything that they had, homes, possessi possession, et cetera, it has been devastating for them. so we're getting our people out of the way of these fires. and that's the most important thing. >> right. >> obviously we'll be dealing with the tragedy here for some time to come. >> yeah, you talk about bastrop county. officials in that county, and according to the texas forest service, no part of the 25,000 acre bastrop fire is contained. another fire is started in the
northwest corner of that county. both fires are growing. they are on the move. do you have the resources you need? and what are people telling you in terms of when in the best case scenario they might be able to get some containment going there? >> we have over 50 fires across the state of texas right now. yesterday it was somewhere in the 30s. we are having fires that are becoming really substantial. and these are fires that the state and the federal government are dealing with. there are numerous fires across the state that the local fire departments have been able to contain. so we got plus 50 fires that are the state forest service, our federal counterparts are having to deal with. so we're a long way from having these under control. the most important message here for people is to -- when the evacuation order comes, take it seriously. get out of the way of these fires. i know leaving a home and possessions behind is a hard thing to do, don't put lives in
danger. >> this is a question in a lot of sitting politicians run for higher office. you have a full-time job there and these fires are evidence from that. you're also embarking on another full-time job, run for president. sometimes it's hard for people to imagine that you can do both at the same time. what do you say to the people who worry about that? >> well, unfortunately in texas we have substantial natural disasters, whether it's hurricanes, wildfires, floods, you name it, tornadoes, we've had to deal with them multi-tasking a lot of times as the governor of texas over the last ten years. got a great team of people, whether it's anymore kemergency management director or lieu t lieutenant governor. we're able to manage multiissues at one time. i'm blessed to have great people to work with and texans who understand how to take care of neighbors. you're seeing all that happen in the state of texas at one time.
>> governor rick perry of texas joining us from austin this morning. governor, thanks for your time. i appreciate it. good luck to you and the people of texas. >> thank you, matt. thank you. >> he's a busy man. >> he is. >> another busy person paying attention to the fires and also the rains is our own al roker. >> i wish we could get some of this leftover rain and move it to texas. not going to happen unfortunateunfortunate l ly. the pick city is san francisco, california. sunny skies and 70 degrees. you can see that massive area of moisture right now and you can also see hurricane katia off to the right there. but that is not going to get here. it's going to get caught up by this system lee and the cold front pushing off. that's good news. we do have a risk of strong storms and maybe even tornadoes in the atlantic states. flash flooding possible. temperatures will be in the 80s in the pacific northwest. plenty of sunshine down into srn california. hit or miss showers and thunderstorms in the southwest, but unfortunately no real
>> obviously we are going to contend with the rain off and on. give yourself as much extra time as you can. we expect highs only in the upper >> and that's your latest weather. up next, we'll get the "real housewives of beverly hills" reaction to the controversial season premier. that's right after this. at pizza hut, we know your tuesdays are busy.
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when you've lost interest in everything. when you've had one too many days feeling sad or anxious... aches and pains, fatigue. when it becomes hard to ignore that you need help. that's the day you do something. depression hurts. cymbalta can help with many symptoms of depression. tell your doctor right away if your depression worsens, you have unusual changes in behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18. people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing of the skin or eyes. talk with your doctor about your medicines, including those for migraine, or if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles, to address a possible life-threatening condition. tell your doctor about alcohol use, liver disease, and before you reduce or stop taking cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. side effects include nausea, dry mouth, and constipation.
back now at 8:10. last night's much anticipated season premier of "the real housewives of beverly hills qult qult" that began with a special interview of the suicide of thees traininged husband of taylor. >> i was so worried for taylor. i'm worries she's going to have a breakdown. but nobody -- we really didn't see russell. >> i think a lot of us have some
guilt about not seeing this coming. >> adrien maloof, kyle richards, and lisa vanderpump. so far we have not heard from russell armstrong's family in terms of their reaction to last night's broadcast. kyle, you spoke and, in fact, you watched the show, the entire episode last week with taylor. is that right? what was her reaction? >> she thought that they handled it respectfully and in light of the situation she was please with the outcome. >> she was supportive of the series being shown. >> really? >> yeah. >> that's interesting. lisa, i know the producers left in a comment that your husband made before -- it was taped before russell's death. >> six months before. >> in which he was saying that he personally -- if he personally had to go into therapy he would feel weak. do you or your husband feel a little upset with the producer
for leaving in that comment in light of russell's death? >> yes, i think everything changes in light of what's happened. but it was accurate. it was his opinion. i mean, his opinion hasn't changed, but that was regarding himself. that wasn't regarding taylor or russell. >> do you think it should have been edited out for sense tufity possibly? >> i understand what you're saying, but i think that was his feeling and that kind of is talked about later on in the series, so it was relevant. but that's his opinion about himself. not about anybody else. and he did apologize to taylor the next day because he suddenly realized how fragile she was. >> he's entitled to his opinion. >> i know that one of the reasons why there's a little tension on the set this morning is that you have read the l.a. times review, the scathing review calling the episode in rough words, it's calling it a creepy party game, the episode last night, pointing out that while the show's petty in-fighting as it describes it was going on there was a man who
is slowly losing his sense of himself to the to get to the point where he was going to commit suicide. do you now, looking at that, hearing that -- hearing about that review, reading it this morning, have any doubts about how you behaved? have any sort of second-guessing? >> we did not see the review. we woke up and came straight here this morning. >> our hearts go out to taylor, obviously, and her children. >> i'm talking about the show. >> yeah. >> i think that honestly, you know, we -- it's very difficult in a situation like this. yes, we shot this six months ago, and i think bravo has tried to handle this as responsibly and respectfully as possible. it is a very decision. but the show is not just about them. it's, you know, it's about six women and their lives. and, yes, they are a part of it but there's also so much else going on in the show. >> also, i think there were a lot of problems and we had finished filming. and i don't think even taylor was aware of his mental state.
so it was a shock to all of us. >> very difficult to get to know, always have a wall up, so none of us really could ever predicted this would happen. >> so one commentator on "entertainment weekly" website put it this way. while this show did not cause the suicide they did play a major part in it and they chose to -- they choose to use it to their own advantage. how do you respond to this idea that the show exploited this suicide. i want to let adrienne speak. >> i believe that actually the network and with us, we agreed to take the higher road and do something positive, which is to get the message out about suicide prevention, mental illness, depression. so what the psas taking a negative and trying to make a positive. and if we can save one life then our message is getting across.
>> what is the message? what is the take-away that you've learned? from your own experience, what have you come away with that has made you understand something deeper that we can all learn from when it comes to being aware of someone suffering in the way that obviously russell did? >> i think that it's very hard to even say because we were never able to get to know him. i think we're all still confused and shocked by it. >> it's only been three weeks. soins that. >> it hurts. you know, we can't sit here and think what would question do. we have. i think we've all felt this sort of, oh, my gosh, how come we didn't see this. including taylor. >> when they say that we had a part in this. we lead and they follow our story, our reality. we just open our lives. >> but what they're saying that, though. really what they're saying i think in that criticism they're talking about the idea of exploiting it, talking about it, using it for the brdcast, for the show last night. i think that's what they're talking about.
>> if you sweep it under the rug and your don don't talk about i then what good does that do? >> i can tell you i have an enormous overwhelming amount of support on twitter and facebook of people thanking us for addressing it, people who have lost parents and family members to suicide. thousands of tweets. >> you're hoping that the show last night may have helped people, you're saying? >> i actually did research about suicide. and it's the third leading cause amongst young adults and teenagers. >> of death. >> third leading cause of death, yes. so those statistics are very scary. so if we can get the word out to look for the warning signs. and somebody needs to start that. and this is the perfect platform for that. i think that's a positive. >> looking for the positive, i think, whenever there is suffering is a better thing to
do and to try to help people through it. that's what you're talking about this morning. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> and adrienne maloof, kyle richards and lisa vanderpump. it airs on monday nights at 9:00, 8:00 central, on our cable sister which is called bravo. still ahead, a mother who broke her spine, slipped into a coma, and doctors suggested taking her off life support. well, today she's walking again and sharing her remarkable story with us, right after this. ♪ ♪ ♪
sundays are just for watching football. believe that? [ thinking ] remain calm. answering incorrectly has... but i just -- [ thinking ] ...consequences. but you're smart, right? you ordered off mcdonald's dollar menu at breakfast. got the premium roast coffee, the savory sausage burrito. everything's so good and just a buck each. you made it happen, so... you got this. he's a jerk. [ thinking ] well-played. mcdonald's dollar menu at breakfast. the simple joy of being smart. wow, thanks. this doesn't mean we're... no, no, we're just backpack buddies. ...backpack buddies? [ male announcer ] get 50% off all backpacks, only at staples. that was easy.
but your cloud of depression is still with you. maybe it's time to ask your doctor about adding seroquel xr to your antidepressant to treat your depression. seroquel xr is a once-daily, extended-release tablet, which means medication is released around the clock. for many, seroquel xr, when added to an antidepressant, was proven more effective than an antidepressant alone at helping people feel less depressed. call your doctor if you have unusual changes in mood, behavior, or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. elderly dementia patients taking seroquel xr have an increased risk of death. call your doctor if you have fever, stiff muscles, and confusion, as these may be signs of a life-threatening reaction or if you have uncontrollable muscle movements, as these could become permanent. high blood sugar has been reported with seroquel xr and medicines like it and in extreme cases can lead to coma or death.
your doctor should check for cataracts. other risks include increased cholesterol and weight gain as well as seizures, dizziness on standing, drowsiness, impaired judgment, trouble swallowing, and decreases in white blood cells, which can be fatal. use caution before driving or operating machinery. isn't it time to put more distance between you and your depression? talk to your doctor about seroquel xr. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. they're making him triple double. why? this! new triple double oreo. ♪ yo stufy, come here! [ shoes squeaking ] looked better on paper. [ strike! ] ♪ sun in the sky ♪ you know how i feel ♪ freedom is mine ♪ and i know how i feel ♪ and this whole world is a new world ♪
♪ and a bold world [ female announcer ] weight watchers, rated #1 best plan for weight loss by u.s. news and world report. join for free. [ female announcer ] and, if you join by september 17th you can get a month free. weight watchers. because it works. we're back now at 8:21 with grooming tips that guys with learn from women. but as mel gibson's character in "what a woman wants" it's not as smooth as it looks. >> just yank quickly. not in the direction in fact hair growth. one, two, three. oh, oh, oh! women are insane. who would do that more than once? >> will welch, senior editor of
"gq" with women's products that more and more men are admitted to using. this makes perfect sense because most products are interchangeable, they just market them in one direction or another. >> that's right. most grooming products are n ss unisex but they are marketed towards women when it would work just as well for boys and girls. >> we asked men, do you use ladies' products. the result 58% said yes, they do. 42% said no. does surprise you at all? >> i wouldn't be surprise if it wasn't 75/25. i think a lot of men use women's products in the bathroom. pulling down their girlfriend's stuff. >> some degree may be that they fail to go shop ppg basically using what their wives or their girlfriends have in the bathroom. meantime, let's start with these products. >> sure. >> one of them is a way to wash your hair without watt sdpler this is a secret that women use that guys know nothing about. it's a powdery spray and strips the oils from the your hair so it freshens you up and makes you
smell good again without getting in the shower. >> matt and al i don't think use that product. >> there was a day maybe. come on. >> they might use, however, the body balm. >> this is one you admit to. >> i swear by this stuff. >> yeah, this stuff is a moisturizer but i also use it like a cologne. i think it smells so good. >> it does smell good. it's got a freshness. it is a little bit floral. >> i don't mind that. >> men are now getting into jiggy with floral. >> what about women's colo a lo cologne. >> this is totally unisex. can you tell the difference? >> pretty unisex. i think women are trying to move away from floral a little bit as well. >> meeting in the mid. >> this is a tonic? >> a toner.
>> a tonic. >> i wouldn't drink that, al. i would not drink that. >> a toner, not a tonic. >> friday night. >> this is sort of the easiest of the bunch to use. basically take some of this toner, dab it on a bottom pad, wipe off your face, wipe off your neck. instant way to wash your face. when you wipe off your pad you can see the muck. >> that's your favorite part? >> yeah. >> more guys would use it if it were pink. >> come on. >> that's what this green bottle is for, to help you out. >> masks. >> masks. this one is a little bit more advanced. you have to be secured in your masculinity. on sunday nights, put on football, go in the bathroom and put on a foaming mask. >> get the guys together? >> not with the guys. you have to be alone with this one. the boys might not take well to it. >> how do you make sure it goes on the outside of your beard?
>> rub it in. it fells it foam up. >> okay. good. your skin is very nice. i have to say. >> thank you. thank you. your makeup team helped. >> eye cream. a lot of women use eye cream. it takes puffiness out, right? >> most guys won't admit to it but no woman would never not use eye cream. it gets rid of puffiness. helps eliminate the crow's feet. >> after a night of drinking it's a good thing. >> takes off the ageing a little bit. >> especially after that on theic. >> on our facebook wall we have a lot of people posting about women's products that men are using. number one most popular answer, men are using ladies deodorants. >> come on, that's because they forgot to go shopping. >> yes. you've got to get something. >> it's got the same ingredients, right? >> but smells different. some of it's got like -- >> as long as you don't smell like your own musk, it probably helps. >> wow. >> okay. moving on. okay. and then also -- >> ladies razors, again, probably a convenience thing.
>> this -- i was surprised at this one. i'm not sure i would do this myself. but guys are saying when they have acne they would use this to conceal it. >> what do you mean, you use body balm and face mask during a football game. >> jill's steals and dales. >> live, local, latebreaking. this is a wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am mindy basara. let's get off an attack on the morning commute with sarah caldwell -- a final check on the money to meet with sarah caldwell. >> recovering from an earlier accident on southbound 95. delays stretch all the way back to the beltway on southbound 95. 295 act up, along with portions of route 1. i guess 70 eastbound just past mount airy, accident still
wrapping up. outer loop west side, and these stretch back to the j.f.x. inner loop delays all the way from 95 all towards the top side of the beltway. j.f.x., so far so good. upperco, route 30 and arcadia ave. 95, looking like it normally does at this hour. -- my view ofook traffic, show you what it looks like a greenspring. you can see how heavy is towards the west side. inner loop traffic is starting to develop delays as well. it a bit of improvement in this area. tony has a check on your forecast. >> rainshowers will be with us off and on it today. flood watch in effect tonight. there could be minor flooding problems. off and on rainshowers. high temperatures in the upper 60s and low 70's. average high temperature is 82.
take a light jacket along with an umbrella. the next couple of days, we will jump back into the upper 70's but we will have a chance for rain all the way through the end of the week. assuming the hurricane states offshore, we should wind up with a decent weekend. >> we will have another update >> we will have another update get america's favorite coffee for america's favorite single-serve brewer. try all five delicious varieties, only at dunkin' donuts stores. america runs on dunkin'.
i'm drinkin' dunkin'. dunkin' iced latte. iced dunkin' decaf. estoy tomando café helado. large caramel iced with skim. one shot of hazelnut, iced, cream and sugar. i wouldn't want it any other way. get your iced coffee your way. america runs on dunkin' coffee. we're back now 8:30 on tuesday morning. september 6, 20 11. not the nicest weather we've had for a long time here but we've got great people standing outside. we've been ignoring them a slight bit this morning because we've been inside a lot and we're happy to get out and say hi to them. i'm matt lauer along with ann
curry. savannah guthrie and mr. al roker. >> the ladies holding their umbrellas. i like this. >> i know. get in here. >> doyle this. >> i'll do this one. >> what a gentlemen you are when the cameras are on. >> coming up, we have a remarkable story, a young mother of two was on vacation in hawaii. she got involved in a tragic accident. she actually brock her spine. she slipped into a coma. some doctors suggested she wouldn't recover, and her family might consider taking her off life support. they decided not to do that. and, look, three months later she's in our studio. she can walk some, she can talk. she'll tell us her story. >> they are a remarkable family. it's going to be exciting to introduce them to america. the best of the best. you were going to say something first. >> no. >> okay. the best of the best when it comes to fast food. we want to get to the best things. for example, which chains have the tastiest burgers and most mouth-watering wings. the latest results from the new
zaggett's fast food food service. >> happy to do research there. jill martin is here with her steals and deals. glasses, which is the theme of the day. jill looking great. we'll tell you about the bargains she has to offer. >> okay. savannah wearing her glasses today. >> there you go. >> good for you. >> mr. roker. >> you are wearing your dplases. >> since first grade. nothing new. let's check it out for you. show you what's going on. for today, wet weather in the northeast. remnants of lee. western two thirds of the country, pretty sunny. unfortunately we could use some of that rain in texas. we're not going to get it as we look toward tomorrow. more heavy rain, mid atlantic into the northeast. sizzling conditions continue in the southwest, hot through texas. sunny and mild. upper mississippi river valley. sunny and hot out west.
>> we are going to do with the rainshowers off and on. it could get heavy later on this afternoon. it is going to be cool. it is going to be cool. high temperatures in >> don't forget you can check your weather any time of day or night going to the weather channel or weather.com. big giant tennis heads. >> we need your head that size, al. >> some say it is. i'm not sure. >> all right. coming up, we're going to introduce you to a remarkable family. specifically, the mother who broke her spine in four places, but defied the odds. and she's going to be along this morning to share her remarkable story. but first, this is "today" on
we are back now at 8:30 35 with the utah mother denying the odds after a near death experience. just three months ago she was in a coma with a broken spine and some other very serious injuries. today she's walking and talking again. we'll speak with her exclusively in just a couple of minutes. but first, inbc's aditi roy has her story. >> reporter: stephen and she'llry eldridshe'll r shelly eldridge has done this many times before. but she now needs a wheelchair. >> slowly but surery, huh? >> reporter: and her husband's help to enjoy these late summer days by the lake, yet she considers herself lucky. >> obviously i don't know what i
would do without him. i just feel so blessed hr her life-altering moment happened in june. she and her family were on vacation in hawaii. they rented mopeds to see the sites. they were traveling along this road when shelly slammed into a pole. >> i think that someone probably hit her. >> my oldest was the one that saw me first. and he took off his shirt because he saw me bleeding everywhere. >> her legs were severely disfigured. her hips were disfigured. when i saw her, i thought she died. >> reporter: shelly broke her spine in four places. shattered her pelvis, and fractured her skull and facial bones. the next morning, she slipped into a coma. >> it became pretty apparent that she wasn't going to wake up. our whole worlds had been turned upside-down. >> reporter: she was unresponsive for weeks. one doctor recommended to steven, a trained physician himself, to withdraw life support, but steven wouldn't do
it. >> we made the decision that we were going to move forward at all costs. >> reporter: then a turning point. >> i walked over to her right side. i saw her. i walked over to her left side and she tracked me. she actually followed my path. >> reporter: then one day steven told a joke at the hospital and shelly laughed. >> we looked over and she -- i said, shelly, did you hear that? she raised her eyebrows. i thought to myself, if i have my wife and that's all i get, that's okay. >> reporter: within days, shelly spoke, moved, and eventually came home, defying tremendous odds. her family and her doctor described shelly's recovery as remarkable she goes through grueling physical therapy three times a week. her goal, to be able to walk without any help. >> my kids get so excited when i could stand up and when i could walk. i just feel really bad for the decision they had to make. >> reporter: a decision that saved her life and spared her family heart break.
for "today," aditi roy, nbc news, salt lake city. >> shelly eldridge is with us exclues vly along with her husband and their sons alex and jordan. good morning to all of you. nice to have you here. how are you feeling? >> good. i'm feeling great. much better. >> i said to you before i said it's good to have you here, and it's really great for you to be anywhere these days, isn't it? >> right, yeah. >> do you remember the accident at all? >> i don't. >> nothing. >> no. >> it's amazing how it works. >> i remember right up before because we had eaten at mcdonald's and i remember that. we stopped at a lot of placeses before the accident to take pictures. and i've seen the pictures but i don't remember seeing those things. >> do you remember anything at your early days of hospitalization at all? >> i don't remember being in hawaii at all in the hospital. once i got back and woke up from the coma i remembered that. >> part of the story where the doctor says he walked around the room and noticed your eyes were tracking him. the other part where steven told
a joke and says that you laughed and raised your eyebrows when he said can you hear me, yet you don't remember that at all. >> no. >> parts of you were coming back even though you weren't completely aware of it. >> it gradually came back. there's probably quite a bit in the hospital i don't remember that i did, but it slowly is coming back. >> now that you've talked to everybody and you've spoken to the doctors and you know what your condition was like and it was grave, to the point where some doctors suggested that your family might want to consider taking you off life support. >> yeah. >> how do you explain the recovery? are there medical reasons, in your opinion, or something more? >> i think it's more. i do. i mean, my doctors were so great. they were so good. but i mean, everyone, even the doctor said she doesn't have a chance of coming back. i just think we're so blessed and hopefully i can find my mission and help other people. >> you're a trained doctor. and how do you explain what happened? >> well, there's not a lot of medical justification.
the brain injury and the testing that demonstrated a loss of typical brain architecture was not consistent or compatible with life or return of function. and it was very disheartening to face the possibility or likely possibility of her never being able to wake up or function. >> at a time when the doctors come to you and basically say, i would imagine to you first, i'm not sure whether you shared it with the boys, you might want to consider withdrawing life support. did you choose to talk to them about that? >> no, no. >> no? >> guys, you didn't have any idea it was that grave? >> no. >> i didn't. >> uh-uh. >> alex, you were the one who actually found your mom first? >> i was, yeah. >> what was that like? >> when i realized that she wasn't behind me i turned around and came around a corner and there i saw her just lying on the ground. wrapped around the pole. and she wasn't moving, but then she started to move and i'm just glad she's with us today.
>> she hasn't stopped since then. she's getting better every single day. jordan, what do you learn about your mom after an experience like this? >> that she's a lot stronger than i thought she was. that she's pulled through a lot of stuff, and just kind of hard watching her go through it but it's easier to see now how much like she's gone through and how good she's doing it. >> you're a very active person, i should mention. you're a cyclist. you love to be out there active. while you can be more and more active each day, still trust trading for you? >> it is a little bit frustrating. i know i'll be able to do it and finish it and get back to normal. but, yeah, it's hard seeing everything you used to do and not quite being able to do it yet. >> i like what you said a second ago, you got to figure out what your mission is now. >> yeah. >> because clearly you're meant to be here. >> yeah. >> how long do you think it's going to take you to figure it out? >> i don't know. i keep thinking, what am i'm not getting i need to do? >> well, i'm sure you will get it and i'm sure you will continue to get better. we're happy you can join us here, shelly. thank you. >> thank you.
america is in trouble and action is needed today. that's the call in the new book "that used to be us, how america fell behind in a world that invented and how we can come back." it was written by thomas friedman and jobs hopkins, professor. and tom mass homas is joining u morning. the title of this book comes from really president barack obama who said in 2010 it makes no sense for china to have better rail systems than us and singapore having better airports than us and we just learn that
china now has the fastest super computer on earth. that used to be us. what is the biggest reason, tom, that that is no longer us? >> ann, we had a formula of pessimists in this country. it goes back to hamilton, lincoln, and pursued by every successful president and it's built on five pillars. whether it was the cotton gin or super computers. attracting the world's best in most energetic talent for the best rules in investing and starting things and, lastly e government funded research. that's the formula for success. if you look at all five, all five, the arrow today is pointing down. >> so all five pillars of what you say is america's really formula for success are now needing shoring up. >> right. >> on "meet the press" on sunday you went so far as to say we've gone from the greatest generation that saved and invested to the baby boom generation that has become okay
with borrowing and spending. so -- and you're a baby boomer so that says a lot about you saying that. what you're really talking about there it seems is diminishing or forgetting of a true american values. if that's true then what values have we forgotten that has now contributed to our falling behind? >> sure. the key one, we shifted from what our teachers calls sustainsable values are the greatest generation. you always do and behave in ways that sustain, the country, relationship, environment, to the baby boomer generation of situational values. do whatever the situation allows. the situation allows me to give you a subprooim mortgage for a mm dollars and you're making $10,000, do it even though sustainable values would tell me i shouldn't. >> so you're basically saying then what we need to do as parents is -- and ourselves -- rethink ideas about what? >> we really think parents need to understand that we're now not just in a connected world, we're in a hyper connected world. when i was on "meet the press" i
pointed out that someone was reading their notes on an iphone behind a robotic camera. society is churning more and more jobs in all the time. each of us has to bring now something extra. we have a chapter in the book dedicated to parents called "average is over". everybody's got to find that extra. so we urge parents to get their kids to think in two ways. one likeimmigrant. i'm in a new world. second, nothing is old to me. i've got to work my way to the top. and secondly, this is an idea from larry katz at harvard, everybody has to think like an a artisan. >> what we're talking about in talking about that is the idea of education. you mentioned earlier as being one of five pillars that's failing. so what's the fix? we all know some of the best and brightest young people in america are not getting access to education and what's the fix,
thomas? >> we have two problems. we need to bring the bottom up to the average but we need to bring average so much higher of the world average. that involves not only more education but better education. education that focused on creativity and starting things. people say we need more jobs. we can't stimulate our way out of the problem or bail our way out of the problem. we can only invent our way out of this problem. we need to go back to being that country that is always starting something, starting something, fixing something, repairing something, inventing something. that's where jobs come from. >> as an example of that, i mean, the president is unveiling his jobs program coming up on thursday. in the silicon valley they can't even find enough people in america to fill the jobs they've got. it's a fundamental flaw that we're not educating our people to be smart enough for tomorrow, which is coming. >> too many people who had talent went to wall street with it. we had a man in the book who says friends don't let friends go into finance. that's good advice to parents. go into engineering, go into science. >> the last question, i should
mention you're rough on president george w. bush in this book. you're also rough on president obama. and essentially you essentially feel that he is spending way too much time talking about the polls. so what do you think he should be doing? what would be your advice to them? >> again, we supported president obama i think because we thought he would change the polls and not read the polls. the big challenge for president obama now is to go big and go long. come up with a program basically that we are all going to get up out of our seats and go, wow, that's something that can renew, reinvigorate and energize this country and get us back to what used to be. that used to be us, ann. >> thomas friedman on those last words, thank you so much. that's the title of the book "that used to be us." coming up next, talking about your favorites and whether they made the list and reveal zaggotd's guide to america's fast food. that's coming up after this. this is "today" on n
♪ the average american eats fast food about ten times a month, so which restaurant chains are worth your money? the favorite restaurant guide zaggott is out with a new survey. tell is here to reveal the best of the best when it comes to burgers, coffee, and something new this year, wings. good to see you.
>> good to see you. >> we spend an awful lot of time in fast food restaurants. we're talking mega chains here, right? how many outlet s do they have to have? >> over 5,000 outlets per chain. over that we call them large. >> the most popular mega chain. this year your survey said it is what? >> subway. >> what did people say they lik liked about subway? >> everything. chosen among 100 or so chains. the freshness of the ingredients, particularly. >> now we move on to the category called top overall mega chain. explain the difference between that and the most popular? >> that's another way of looking at the chains. the average of the ratings for food, facilities and service. >> all right. and in that category, subway moves to number two and wendy's comes to the top of the list. >> that's right. that's exactly right. and the interesting thing about all top three categories is wendy's, subway, and mcdonald's
win among those top three in every category. >> all right. now, obviously people are concerned about healthy choices. are you starting to see that reflected in your survey? >> much more than before. 69% of people who are in favor of government mandated calorie counts, 55% say they're effected by it. it's very clear that the chains themselves are making major moves to accommodate that. >> let's go to the top healthy options for these chains. subway wins in this one. wendy's number two. mcdonald's, taco bell, and kfc. let's go on to the burgers because i think a lot of people really want to know about this. the fast food chain with the best burger. and the winner is? >> five guys. it's a very fast growing chain. by the way, it's right across if street from this studio. >> i think they'll get a lot of business. i see it all the time. we have some of their burger rs right here. a lot of people love those. let's move on to chicken wings. the fast food chain with the best chicken wings is? >> it's the famous buffalo wild
wings. and it's not based in buffalo. it's based in minneapolis. >> they have a lot of outlets across the country? >> they have quite a lot. they also have 14 different sauces to go with your wings. >> which is good. quick refreshment chain with the best smoothies/frozen yogurts. where's red mango? i have not heard of red mango. >> red mango is a new and relatively small chain but it's wonderful. gives you every kind of thing on top that you can imagine. freshest fruit of all kinds. >> congratulations to them. followed by pink berry, jumba juice and tcby. and finally, the best coffee at a fast food chain. this is somewhat obvious. >> almost become definitional, starbucks. >> followed by dunkein' doughnuts. these are the winners in the fast food chain, mega chain, overall chain categories from tim zagat. good to see you. appreciate it.
we're going to have much more ahead on a tuesday morning after your local news and >> live, local, latebreaking. this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> the time is 8:55. due to the saturated ground, trees have become the primary casualty added the wake of hurricane irene. officials are taking steps to encourage people to replant. initiative as it people receiving coupons for planting any tree with at least $50.
offr and on a through the day. -- the rain will be with us off and on through the day. with the ground saturated, there could be minor flooding problems through areas. temperatures will make it into the upper 60s and low 70's. it will get warmer the next couple of days. we will keep a chance for rain and a broadcast wednesday, thursday and friday. assuming the hurricane states offshore, we will wind up with a decent weekend. >> we will have another weather update at 9:25. america's favorite coffee is now available for america's favorite single-serve brewer. try new dunkin' k-cup packs and enjoy the freshly brewed signature taste at home. it's a beautiful thing.